Star India batter Virat Kohli and former opener Gautam Gambhir added another chapter to their bitter rivalry as they got involved in an ugly face-off after the Indian Premier League match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Lucknow Super Giants.
Kohli, one of RCB’s batting mainstays, and Gambhir, the LSG mentor, were seen having a heated argument after the Bengaluru-based side won the match by 18 runs on Monday night.
Both were on Tuesday fined 100 per cent of their match fees for breaching the IPL Code of Conduct.
The brief interaction with Kohli, who seemed extra animated throughout the fielding innings of RCB, with LSG opener Kyle Mayers seemed to have triggered the altercation.
While the players were shaking hands after the match, LSG bowler Naveen-ul-Haq and Kohli were seen exchanging words and RCB’s Glenn Maxwell separated them.
This was followed by Gambhir pulling away Mayers from a chat with Kohli.
Just after that, Gambhir was seen charging towards Kohli even as LSG players, including the injured captain KL Rahul, restraining him. But eventually, Kohli and Gambhir were involved in a heated argument with players from both sides surrounding them.
Gautam Gambhir looked the more animated of the two and was repeatedly held back from charging towards Kohli by the LSG players and support staff. This was after the two had shaken hands.
Initially, Kohli was seen holding Gambhir’s shoulder, but as the heated exchange continued, veteran spinner Amit Mishra, RCB captain Faf du Plessis and LSG assistant coach Vijay Dahiya — also hailing from Delhi — stepped in to separate the duo.
After the altercation, Kohli was also seen speaking to LSG captain Rahul.
Kohli and Gambhir are former India team-mates and have played together for the Delhi state team but they have had a history of face-offs.
The last time when LSG and RCB clashed in Bengaluru in an IPL 2023 game, Gambhir had gestured towards the Bengaluru crowd with a ‘shut up’ sign.
They were also involved in a face-off 10 years ago in the IPL during RCB’s match against Kolkata Knight Riders in Bengaluru.
The IPL said in a statement that both Kohli and Gambhir admitted to breach of IPL Code of Conduct rules. LSG bowler Naveen-ul-Haq was also fined 50 per cent of his match fee.
“LSG Mentor Gautam Gambhir has been fined 100% of his match fee for breaching IPL Code of Conduct during IPL 2023 match against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Mr Gambhir admitted to the Level 2 offence under Article 2.21 of IPL Code of Conduct,” the statement said.
“RCB batter Virat Kohli has been fined 100 per cent of his match fee for breaching IPL Code of Conduct during IPL 2023 match against LSG. Mr Kohli admitted to the Level 2 offence under Article 2.21 of IPL Code of Conduct.
“LSG bowler Naveen-ul-Haq has been fined 50 per cent of his match fees for breaching IPL Code of Conduct during IPL 2023 match against RCB. Mr Naveen-ul-Haq admitted to the Level 1 offence under Article 2.21 of IPL Code of Conduct.”